Best Breakdown Cover UK 2021

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  • Unlimited call outs
  • Vehicle Home Start Available
  • No Excess or Callout Charges
  • Covers the Driver and Up To 7 Passengers
  • Up to 1 Hour Roadside Assistance
  • Cover for Cars, Vans, Motorbikes & Fleets
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Best Breakdown Cover UK 2021 Which Breakdown Cover is Best?

Which Breakdown cover is viewed the best by UK motorists is mostly dependent on their needs, expectations and budget. Breakdown protection varies in the area of coverage, types of services offered and the number of vehicles or drivers listed for this protection.

Like any insurance product it pays to compare the market for breakdown cover every year at renewal time. Remember, the best deal one year may not be the best deal the next year.

Why have breakdown insurance?

The reason to have breakdown insurance is so assistance will be sent out to help a motorist when an unexpected failure of the vehicle occurs, or it is involved in an accident. For many motorists that have this type of unforeseen event occur, they will feel stranded and unsure of the next move. By having breakdown insurance no motorist will be alone or helpless since immediate help is just a phone call away. The question is which breakdown assistance, we can help with reviews and quotes from top providers of breakdown assistance in the UK. 

What is breakdown insurance?

Breakdown insurance has many components to it of which all assist the stranded motorist who is in the UK. The most common type of roadside assistance is a flat tire, but any type of minor repair that can be made on the roadside in less than an hour will be attended to include broken belts, leaking coolant hoses, stuck in the mud, dead battery, lost or misplaced keys, out of petrol or fuel along with a blown headlight or fuse.

If the vehicle can’t be made mobile with roadside assistance then it will be towed to a repair garage. This assistance varies from the nearest garage to one of the owners choice depending on the level of breakdown coverage taken out. This same type of assistance is used if the vehicle is involved in an accident and is no longer capable of being roadworthy.

There is also carry forward or onward services offered by many insurance firms. This service provides either a vehicle or a vehicle and driver to take the occupants of the disabled vehicle to their final destination while the vehicle is being repaired. In taxi breakdown cover the onward service includes taking the paying passengers to their destination. 

Some insurance firms provide overnight accommodations if the repairs to the vehicle will only require one overnight stay.

Coverage while travelling in Europe is also available by most insurance firms. This can be the same types of assistance with the exception that the owner of the vehicle has the option to have the vehicle towed back to the UK in some policies. This coverage generally has a limit to it in terms of days. Most firms allow for European coverage on a single trip of up to 31 consecutive days. The annual limit is generally near 90 days. 

What are the areas of coverage for breakdown insurance?

  • Personal breakdown cover is where a single person is protected with breakdown cover independent of the vehicle they are operating when needing assistance. This makes it possible for a person who operates several vehicles to be covered no matter which one they are driving. It also covers the individual if they are borrowing a friends vehicle.
  • Family breakdown cover makes it possible for up to 4 family members to be listed on the policy. This type of policy makes it possible for the people listed in the policy to call for roadside assistance independent of the vehicle they are driving or even just riding in. Assistance will be sent out to help make them mobile again.
  • Vehicle breakdown cover identifies a specific vehicle in the policy and not a driver. With this type of policy, any person authorized by the owner to operate the vehicle will be able to call for assistance if the vehicle breakdown. The eligible persons can be listed like family members only or can include friends. It can also have no list where anyone can be covered.

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How much does breakdown cover cost?

It depends on what form of transportation that you are covering. Motorhome breakdown cover will be slightly more expensive than car breakdown cover. For basic car only breakdown cover expect to pay in the region of £40 to £60/year for full UK breakdown cover.

The traditional approach to insurance was to find a broker and stick with that broker year after year. The idea is that your custom would be rewarded with a loyalty discount. This is still true of some providers of insurance type products, but for others the best deal is reserved for new customers. However, customers are becoming savvy and comparing prices and deals when it comes to renewal time. We hope to help you by letting you easily compare multiple suppliers at any current deals that hey have to offer.

Do I need breakdown cover UK?

Unlike car insurance, breakdown cover is not a legal requirement in the UK. However, it is relatively cheap and most motorists do take out some form of roadside assistance.

What is not covered by breakdown cover?

Breakdown cover does not cover the cost of repair or parts. You are paying for a mechanic to provide roadside assistance to get you back on the road. If they are unable to fix your vehicle will be towed to the nearest garage. 

Most providers will also limit the number of call-outs per year. Five is the standard figure. In addition, it can be hard to get cover for cars over 15 years.

What types and ages of vehicles are eligible for breakdown insurance?

For most insurance firms all types of personal vehicles can be covered with breakdown insurance. Vehicles with 2, 3, 4 and 6 wheels are eligible for this type of cover. The maximum weight of the vehicle generally can’t exceed 3.5 tonnes. 

The age of the vehicle permitted to be covered will vary from different insurance firms. There are two categories most firms list. For those with personal breakdown insurance, the age of the vehicle should not exceed 15 years. Those with vehicle breakdown insurance the age limit is set by the insurance firm where the older and classic cars have a higher premium than newer vehicles.

Not all companies currently offer taxi breakdown cover. However, we can provide quotes for taxi breakdown cover with

What is the difference between personal breakdown cover and vehicle breakdown insurance?

Personal breakdown cover, will provide breakdown cover to the driver, regardless of the vehicle that they are driving. Vehicle breakdown cover provides cover for the vehicle only. Personal breakdown cover is a popular product as it gives you break down cover for  multiple cars. 

  • In a basic breakdown insurance policy, the area of coverage where assistance will be provided includes anywhere in the UK as long as it is at a minimum 1/4th a mile from the given residence of the policyholder.
  • Home breakdown insurance differs from basic whereas the policy is active at the given residence of the policyholder. This allows for assistance when the vehicle has a dead battery in the morning or any other minor repairs that can be attended to by a mechanic. 
  • Onward services provides assistance in reaching the destination of the occupants of the disabled vehicle. Some policies even include pets and livestock in this service. 
  • With European coverage, most of the continent is includes, but not everywhere for each of the insurance firms that issue breakdown cover. It is always best to notify your insurance agent about your destination in Europe just to make sure you are covered. For some firms, this notification prior to the holiday is required for coverage to be active independent of the destination.

Is payment due when breakdown assistance is called?

Not all breakdown insurance policies are the same. Most firms offer a selection of two types, standard along with pay and claim.

  • Standard breakdown insurance is where a premium is paid either monthly or annual. With this type, no payment is due when the rescue vehicle with the mechanic reaches the disabled vehicle. This includes no on the spot charge for hitching up the disabled vehicle and towing it to a repair facility.
  • Pay and claim require an on the spot payment when assistance is called. The payment is required since local mechanics and tow vehicles are used to provide the fastest assistance. The policy owner then makes a claim with their insurance firm for reimbursement.

How long is the wait before roadside assistance reaches the disabled vehicle?

The topography where the breakdown occurs does play into the time it will take for help to arrive. Out of the way location in the rural UK might take longer, but on average assistance can be at the scene in 30 to 40 minutes from the time the call is made.

How many times can breakdown insurance be used?

Each breakdown insurance firm has different limitations in this area of policy. Most fall into one of two categories including unlimited and limited.

  • Unlimited does not limit the number of times the policy can be called upon for assistance on an annual basis.
  • There are some firms that place limits on the number of times annually breakdown cover can be used. This is sometimes clearly stated in the policy, but on occasion, it might be hidden in the fine print. The most common number of times assistance will be available is 6 in one calendar year.

When is breakdown insurance available?

With most insurance firms their breakdown coverage is available 24/7/365 while on the mainland of the UK. The same time periods are available for European breakdown cover, but each firm has its own list of countries where it is eligible.  

What type of service is not available from all  firms?

To help out those who are travelling and have family or friends that worry about them some policies offer to notify family and friends when you are broken down on the roadside. This way they can be informed about your delay and that you are ok. This is not available by every firm that offers breakdown insurance, but many do.

What are some of the exclusions that might be listed in a breakdown insurance policy?

Each insurance firm sets its only list of what is covered and what is excluded. Some clearly state their exclusions in the policy while others keep them in the fine print. It is recommended that each policyholder read and know the exclusions before signing up for a policy to ensure the coverage they need will be included.

  • For the pet and livestock owners, they must know if their animals are included in the onward services. In horsebox breakdown insurance policies this is standard, but not for all policies from every firm.
  • Another common exclusion is that flat tires are not listed on the services provided by the mechanic in the rescue vehicle.
  • For those involved in an accident, the towing of the wrecked vehicle to a repair facility is not included from all insurance firms.

Each potential policyholder should also look for definitions in the policy. This is where the red tape is involved. The most common listing is the definition of roadside. For many firms, this actually means on the side of a public road. Those areas excluded from a vehicle receiving assistance include fields, parking lots, private lands, private roads, local parks and sanctuaries.

Finding the right breakdown insurance policy that meets your needs

For many the cost is the deciding factor to which is the right policy for them. For some, this means they will not get the protection they need or can use. Paying a little extra for the coverage needed can save time, embarrassment and headaches when assistants is necessary. 

A good example is for those who are travelling with small children. An onward service would get them to a safe place instead of camping out on the side of the road. For those unable to change a flat tire because of lack of strength or agility, make sure that service is covered. 

If you have an older vehicle you might want to avoid a breakdown service that has an annual limit to its services. Make sure you read the policy in its entirety before signing on the dotted line to make sure you will receive the services you need and will use.

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